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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Biometrics and the prevention of ID theft.

28 November, 2007
Suggestions have been made today that using archaic methods of verifying identity gives rise to fears of data loss.
A press release from VeCommerce today suggests that if there wasn't such a dependence on so much data for establishing and authenticating data, there wouldn't be such a fuss when information about individuals go missing. VeCommerce supplies speech recognition products and explains that biometric data de-couples the information from the resources that it protects due to authentication being required through the attributes that can't be stolen or duplicated such as biometric parameters.

Currently, there is considerable public resistance to biometric identity products as a result of a lack of trust and knowledge and also uninformed press coverage. Public controversy and poor levels of information provide easy pickings for gaining political advantage in such a sensitive area.

I think its naÃŻve to assume that the vast masses of financial, health service, index numbers and other identity related information can be rendered useless to identity thieves simply with the application of biometric authentication but nonetheless, there's no doubt that the whole issue of bringing biometric technology firmly and squarely into the public domain should be high on the agenda, particularly in the light of the HMRC's public display of data protection inadequacies.

To use misinformed judgements concerning biometrics for political advantage at a time when people need to be more confident in the security of their data does nobody any favours.

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